Why you need an Antivirus for Linux?

So yesterday I tried out the new beta version of Bitdefender Antivirus Scanner for Unices. All I wanted to do was just to play around with it and have a feel of being an early beta tester. Plus, I was thinking that Bitdefender is taking Linux more seriously. Part of the reason maybe because Linux and Open Source are becoming increasing hot when IT managers are looking for more cost-effective solutions.

I was happy to see that the beta version had a nice GUI, unlike the previous version which was entirely command-line-based. But after 3 hours of scanning, all I was able to see was that Bitdefender was scanning the same /proc/task/something over and over again. Weird.

I tweeted about this and immediately @ict4ngo and @jishanvn asked me why I needed an antivirus for Linux on the Desktop.

Here are some reasons:

1. You’re using an email client such as Thunderbird or Evolution

An antivirus may come in handy when people maliciously send you some cheap message. Plus if you want to archive your inbox, it’s a good way to keep it clean, especially when you want to port the archive to a Windows machine.

2. You miss an Antivirus on Windows

An average Windows user would not live without an Antivirus. So if they ‘ve switched from Windows to Linux, it helps them feel good to have some security stuffs running. Sort of nostalgia :)

3. There may be some viruses for Linux out there

Yeah, there are some. But VERY few. If you’re too concerned about them, get one.

4. You own a laptop, and every once in a while your Windows buddies plug their memory sticks into your USB port

Now, you can safely assure them that their doing won’t do any harm to your computer. Then you will go on and explain to them why that is. But how about doing your friends a favor? Eradicate those nasty virues/spyware/malware for them may help you look good.:P

5. You love torrents

What if your friends want a slice of what you’ve downloaded from the Internet? Certainly you need to make sure that these files are not infected by any viruses, right?

6. You use WINE

Windows viruses can rarely spread within a Linux environment. But just to be on the safe side. Sometimes we find it hard to live without some cool Windows apps, such as Photoshop :)

7. You want a revenge

Some of us who’ve used Windows were once or twice fucked up by these tiny “destructive instructions”. And I find it not funny when some of my Windows friends call me to fix their computer, which was blown up by these. Certainly you look cool the first or maybe second time. But if you have to do it again and again, and you know you surely will, it becomes annoying.

Now all I want to do is find a website or server that has as many virus/spyware/malware as possible, download them to my Linux box, fire up my Antivirus, and slaughter them all.

It’s time for punishment. Young Skywalker:”I slaughter them all. I’ve shifted to the darkside of the force!” Do you happen to know if such sites exist?

So, if you’re inclined to have one Antivirus for your own, here are some suggestions:

a. ClamAV: Clam AntiVirus is an open source (GPL) anti-virus toolkit for UNIX, designed especially for e-mail scanning on mail gateways. It provides a number of utilities including a flexible and scalable multi-threaded daemon, a command line scanner and advanced tool for automatic database updates. It is the standard anvirus software so you can install it using your favorite package manager.

b. AVG Free for Linux: Its free, can be downloaded here: http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afl

c. Avira Free for Linux: It’s free, can be downloaded here: http://www.free-av.com/en/download/download_servers.php However, getting on-demand Avira is like walking through hell with http://www.dazuko.de/

Hmm, wondering when Microsoft will release its security software for Linux, holding my breath :)

Did I miss something? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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